Jazz CD Reviews
Scotty Barnhart – Say It Plain – DIG
Published on June 30, 2009
Scotty Barnhart – Say It Plain – DIG 137, 1.1 hours *****:
(Scotty Barnhart, trumpet; guest trumpeters: Clark Terry (tr. 12), Wynton Marsalis (tr.7); pianists: Ellis Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Lindsey Sarjeant, Bill Peterson, Bruce Barth; Jamie Davis, vocal (tr. 9); others)
We seem to be getting in a number of jazz releases packed with guest artists; it does add more interest and variety to albums. In addition to the bevy of trumpeters and pianists, this one adds both recording and editing by many different people and at many different locations. The final result is of a piece, though, a fine assembly of swinging small group jazz in a conservative and accessible style that is never a bore. A lot of the dozen tracks are originals by Barnhart, but there are classics too – such as Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Dizzy’s lovely Con Alma, Frank Loesser’s I’ve Never Been in Love Before, and Young at Heart, which has the album’s first vocal by Jamie Davis – the second vocal is the closing Pay Me My Money by Clark Terry in his inimitable vocal style.
The CD’s title tune is a madly swinging medium-tempo number showcasing Barnhart’s easy-going style and warm tone. Saxist Todd Williams takes some fine solos on four of the tracks, and Clark Terry helps wrap things up with a kick on the final track, contributing both his trumpet and voice. On the Con Alma track Wynton Marsalis joins in a duet with Barnhart, and the whole thing chugs along on an enhanced percussion background contributed by players on both the left and right sides of the soundstage.The whole album is very well put together and a testament to the skills of trumpeter Barnhart – who is Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Florida State University and featured soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra.
TrackList: Giant Steps, Say It Plain, The Burning Sands, Haley’s Passage, Dedicated to You, Put on a Happy Face, Con Alma, Jnana, Young at Heart, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, I’m Glad There is You, Pay Me My Money.
– John Henry